PDT Sports Writer
THE PLAINS — For three consecutive years, the Wheelersburg volleyball program has entered the district tournament with a different coach but one thing remains the same.
The Pirates compete in the districts. But in each of those years, they ran into a team out of the Scioto Valley Conference, a strong volleyball conference. For the second-straight season, they ran into Chillicothe Huntington.
Despite a tightly played first set, No. 1 Chillicothe Huntington was too strong for No. 5 Wheelersburg as the Pirates were swept 25-23, 25-11, 25-16 in Tuesday’s Division III Southeast District Semifinal at Athens High School.
“I’m proud of my girls, they came out and I think played their best,” Wheelersburg coach Kendra Massie said. “And I’m really proud of my seniors.”
In the opening stanza, the Pirates (12-10) held a lead of 4-1. It would eventually their biggest lead of the match.
Although being down 22-17 in the set, Wheelersburg rallied to make it a one-point deficit. Chances of extending the set beyond the 25 points were washed away when the Huntsmen (18-7) took the final point of the set off Justice Silvey’s serve.
In the second set, the Huntington serve was too much to handle. With streaks of nine and four (twice), the Huntsmen won 25-11.
The Pirates rallied in the third, taking early leads before Dyana Gragg’s serve gave Huntington the space it needed to win the match. She had 10 kills and three aces while Jackie Kellough led the winners with 17 kills.
In their final matches, Fay Proehl finished with seven kills and Silvey recorded eight assists. Brooklyn Adams led Wheelersburg with nine kills and Hannah Duckworth chipped in with 22 assists.
Along with Jessi Oppy, the Pirates lose a trio of seniors that Massie is proud of in her first year. She knows the youth movement in the program will continue to grow.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 242, or email@example.com.
Wheelersburg 23 11 16
Chillicothe Huntington 25 25 25